General Assembly Plans Expansion, Acquires Bitmaker to Enter Canada

General Assembly this week announced plans for its largest expansion to date. The global education-to-employment company specializing in skills across data, tech, and business, says it will grow its physical campus presence from 15 to 25 campuses by end of year.

Helping it drive this growth is the recent acquisition of Bitmaker, a Toronto-based tech and design career accelerator. The transaction will enable GA’s first foray into the Canadian market.

“We are seeing incredible demand among employers as they struggle to fill jobs that require 21st century skills like web development, data science and UX design,” said Jake Schwartz, CEO of General Assembly. “This demand outstrips the capacity of conventional education which is why we are scaling to an entirely new level, adding resources for people and companies in these additional cities around the world.”

GA’s aggressive international expansion plans come despite the US firm recently cutting 50 of its 750 employees, or roughly 7% of its workforce, affecting headquarters and offices around the world.

Bitmaker helps students gain practical tech skills to become quickly employable. It is one of several such organizations in Canada; others include BrainStation, based in Toronto, and Lighthouse Labs, based in Vancouver.

GA says Bitmaker’s team, including founder Andrew Mawer, will remain in place and continue to lead Bitmaker’s growth as a subsidiary of General Assembly.

“We are incredibly enthusiastic about what this means for our students and community given General Assembly’s strong reputation and ability to deliver quality education and outcomes at scale,” Mawer said.

Founded out of New York in 2011, General Assembly has raised $120 million to date.

“From small businesses and startups to Fortune 500 brands, digital skill sets have never been more in demand,” said Anna Lindow, GM Campus Education & Operations, General Assembly. “By expanding into new markets like Canada, General Assembly will be able to empower even more individuals and add value to even more employers.”